Lock your car doors! It’s what The Apopka Police Department (APD) has been creatively telling the Apopka community to do for months.
Every 30 seconds a car is either stolen or burglarized in the United States, according to statistics gathered by the FBI. If you google car burglaries, you will find it’s an issue in many communities. Apopka is no different, but the APD is taking a pro-active approach to the issue.
This week portable signs are stationed near the main entrance to Errol Estate with the warnings: “Help Prevent Theft - Lock Vehicle Doors.”
“We’ve had some issues in Errol,” said Sgt. Ed Chittenden of the APD Public Information Office. “We’ve made some arrests. Errol has a big concentration of houses, and therefore is a target. The signs are just a reminder to lock your car door.”
APD Captain Randy Fernandez agrees.
“We’ve had some burglaries in Errol,” he said. “The trend we have noticed is unlocked cars being targeted. People are comfortable in their own homes as they should be. The incidents are very low, but as a policing agency we look at trends before they become a problem. We want to educate the public. We put signs out around the city once or twice a year. It’s not an Errol problem. We will move them in a week or so to another area. We also have them on Park and Main Street.”
The APD, like many police agencies, constantly deals with the problem of vehicle burglaries. Thefts from vehicles can occur at any time and at any place, even in the driveway of the owner’s home. It is important to remember, these crimes are often “crimes of opportunity” and are easily preventable.
Offenders walking through neighborhoods generally commit these crimes. They try to open car doors to see if they are unlocked. If they find one, they steal available items of value. Rarely, do the offenders forcibly enter a vehicle. When they do, it is usually because a valuable item is left out in the open, readily available to be taken.
The signs are just another friendly nudge – lock your car doors Apopka.